Beautiful Picnic Spots near Amsterdam
The sun is shining. You need some fresh air. But don’t feel like going to a busy café or an even busier amusement park. Here are some great tips for a lovely picnic, in the countryside. Just outside Haarlem, at a short driving distance (approx. 30mins) from Amsterdam. Kids allowed!
Highlights: lake, beach bar, live music
At the east-side of Haarlem, towards Amsterdam, you’ll find the ‘Veerkwartier‘. Next to IKEA. But don’t let that stop you! It’s a very cute place, with a large open field and a small beach, next to the lake. It is hip! But most of all, it is incredibly relaxing! Open every day from 10am until 8.30pm, except for Mondays. Live music on offer occasionally too. You can sit both in-and outside. So bring a blanket and relax away!
Highlights: country estate, deer, orangery (read: conservatory), open fields, walking routes
On the west-side of Haarlem, towards Bloemendaal, you will find the beautiful country estate Elswout. Romantic. Green. Lots of open space. And deer. On Sundays you can either have lunch or a high tea in the Orangery. There are also two great walking routes (2.5km and 4km). But for the ultimate relaxing afternoon (or morning), bring a blanket, a picnic and sit down on one of the beautiful open spaces surrounded by trees and hedges. You can also visit the gorgeous gardens belonging to the estate. Address: Elswoutslaan 14, Overveen.
Highlights: lake, child-friendly, dunes
Also on the west-side of Haarlem, just past Overveen and the visitor centre for the ‘Kennermerduinen’, you’ll find this hidden gem. Right in the middle of the dunes, there is a small lake. Out of the wind, protected by the dunes. The ideal place for small children. Great for paddling. Rolling down the dunes. And building sand castles. Without any tourists in sight. Or a nasty sea breeze. How to find this cute, little place? Enter ‘Zeeweg 12’ on your Sat Nav, park at the visitor centre and walk from there. Great for walks too.
Highlights: countryside, walks, deer
Who doesn’t like walking amongst deer!? On the south-side of Haarlem, towards Heemstede, you will find a beautiful nature reserve. With plenty of walks. All sorts of pretty views. And a restaurant called ‘Oase’ (Dutch for oasis). There are several entrances, but the one with the restaurant is situated at 1e Leijweg 9, Vogelenzang. You can park here too (paid). Two short walks (4km and 7km) will start from this spot. Please note there is a small entrance fee for the nature reserve.